This is an admittedly biased list. But yesterday was a roller coaster of a day, and there were a few things that made me feel better, during it. In case you’re having a roller coaster of a day, here’s what helped me, yesterday:
- Be patient. Sometimes you’re not going to find your keys in the first 10 minutes. You have to decide that it’s not that important. Your frustration is just going to aggravate whatever comes next. Maybe decide that frustration is something to mostly ignore, today.
- Switch to survival mode. Today’s not going to be a game of perfect. Today, we’re giving neon glitter bonus points for every difficult thing you live through without bursting into tears (and some things you do burst into tears about, as long as you’re still standing when the tears dry.)
- Be gentle with yourself. If you’re me, this means that you get to go to Chick-fil-a and Target on your lunch hour. You can have a cookie at Chick-fil-a, and you can buy something just because it makes you happy at Target. Especially if it’s on sale.
- Take a breath. For me, this involved walking the dog. Breaths in nature with a being who lives to be with you are just better breaths.
- Recognize the difference between your emotions and the emotions of the people around you. This is hard, if you’re like me. My day wasn’t terrible, but someone else had a pretty horrendous day, and my feeling bad for them really threatened the quality of my day. Without really helping them. Had to be mindful about letting some of that go.
- Cut yourself some slack. Just because you like your food fresh doesn’t mean your mom won’t appreciate a very processed meal. Direct quote that I didn’t let make me crazy “this is the best meal we’ve had since we’ve lived here!” Thanks. I opened the cans myself. Sometimes pandering works in your favor.
- Do something you’re good at. I’m choosing to believe mom’s comments were heavily influenced by the homemade from scratch strawberry shortcake with hand whipped cream. She wanted it for dessert the night before in the restaurant we visited as an early birthday meal. I agreed, but then she ordered my preferred dessert instead. Midway through my day, I picked a recipe and got ingredients from my soul-soothing Target run. So I went flat out and made it for her from scratch. Though I’ve never made strawberry shortcake, I’m known in some circles for my baked goods, and this did not disappoint. On a day when you can’t make things right, do something that makes you feel competent to remind yourself that it’s just a bad day. That there will be a day that doesn’t suck quite as hard, because you’ve got mad skillz.
- Connect with people. You don’t necessarily have to talk about your bad day, but if you connect with people who care for you, and who you’re happy to connect with, it helps you to see happier days on the horizon.
- With that said, don’t talk if you don’t want to. I didn’t want to do the phone yesterday, because I had a lot going on in my heart and in my head. Other people’s voices would have made my situation even more chaotic and overwhelming. So I connected over email, Facebook, and text. If you’re like me, the ability to hear your own voice in all that is to be protected. People who know you well will understand.
The good thing about roller coasters? They eventually let you off. You can do it.